A lick and a promise
What's the meaning of the phrase 'A lick and a promise'?
A cursory effort, for instance at painting or tidying up. It alludes to the perfunctory washing performed by children.
What's the origin of the phrase 'A lick and a promise'?
This is colloquial English and the first record of it in print that I can find is in the English newspaper The Era, March 1848:
...polish here, brush there, slop at one place, give a lick and a promise at another...